Traveling in Romania (and Why You Should Go Right Now)

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Most people don't necessarily equate “Romania” with “cool travel destination.”

This Eastern European country between Hungary and Bulgaria isn't usually a place people have high up on their must-visit lists. Romania is where communism and vampires live — not somewhere you travel to for fun. Right?

Well, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

While Romania is still developing after the fall of Ceausescu and communism (and most will say communism hasn't fully left), it's a much easier and interesting place to travel than you probably realize.

(And, for the record, I didn't see a single vampire while I was there.)

Romania

Romania, in short, blew me away. I had been looking forward to traveling there for years, but the country far exceeded my expectations. And here's why:

Why You Should Travel to Romania Right Now

It's affordable

Cheaper even than the Czech Republic and Hungary, Romania should be attractive just because of its price tag. Everything from accommodation to transport to food is affordable. Even the “touristy” places are far from expensive.

For example, in Brasov — one of Romania's top tourist destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists — entry to the major attraction (Bran Castle) was only $7 USD for an adult ticket with photo license. The most expensive meal I had in the country (at a really posh restaurant) was $12 — the cheapest was less than $3. You can only imagine how cheap beer was.

Brasov, Romania

It's beautiful

The countryside, the medieval cities, the people… Romania has plenty of surprises in store.

Cities like Sighisoara and Brasov are ridiculously attractive and colorful, and the rolling countryside remains largely untouched in most parts of the country. And the locals? Lovely people who will undoubtedly be happy to see you and happier still to talk to you about their country.

Rasnov Fortress, Romania

Sighisoara, Romania

It's relatively easy to travel

One of the biggest surprises for me was how easy it was to get around Romania. The country is fairly well-connected by trains, buses, and planes to the rest of Europe, and you can even use your Eurail pass here.

And, out of all the public trains and buses I rode while in Romania, only one was old and slightly dirty. Most were newer and clean — some even had air conditioning! And the best part? Every single train and bus I rode actually ran on time! (Not necessarily always the case, of course, but no delays in a week is pretty good.)

Romania

Most people speak English

Adding to the ease of travel is the fact that almost everyone in the country speaks at least a little English — especially those in the younger generations. This makes it easy to not only travel in Romania, but also to get to know the locals a bit.

Viscri, Romania

It's not too crowded yet

Because Romania (and, really, most of Eastern Europe) is quite a ways off the usual tourist trail, even the “touristy” places feel relaxed and welcoming — even in high season. The only place I really found to be crowded was Bran Castle — but there are plenty of better things/places to see anyway.

Viscri, Romania

Old traditions survive

Since Romania isn't teeming with tourists, older traditions — like making homemade schnapps and weaving and woodcarving — are still going strong.

You can still find quirky places like Merry Cemetery that nobody knows about. Villages still feel like villages. And the cows still come home at night.

Viscri, Romania

Merry Cemetery, Romania

It's ready for tourism

Because of the above reasons and more, Romania is very much ready for tourism.

Bucharest has a brand new subway system and buses equipped with GPS-enabled screens. Villages like Viscri are converting old heritage buildings into home stays. And nearly everywhere offers visitors free wifi access.

Sighisoara, Romania

But this won't all last, of course. As the country continues to develop and Romania's economy improves (likely to happen once it officially joins the Schengen zone soon), many of these reasons may become irrelevant.

So, if you've ever considered traveling in Romania, go now!

Find accommodation in Romania:



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Do you think you'll ever travel to Romania?

Why you should visit Romania

 

*Note: Intrepid Travel graciously provided me with a complimentary Eastern Europe Explorer tour. But all opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

If you're interested in doing the same tour I did, you can check it out here.

Explore Eastern Europe tour

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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212 Comments on “Traveling in Romania (and Why You Should Go Right Now)

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  1. Why did you put that picture of the gypsy children there? They are a minority in Romania of 3% of the population… it’s like presenting a couple of Indian children as representatives of America. Were you paid to do this just like most bloggers are to depict Romanians as gypsies?

      People of all sizes, shapes, and colors ARE American. So what would it matter what color or ethnicity of people I share photos of? A small percentage of the population is still part of the population, even if you don’t like them. I was not paid to visit Romania or to share anything about it.

        It’s an unfair biased representation of the Romanian people. Present a minority as a majority is manipulative and fake news. Why would you do that if you weren’t paid? Don’t do that and then play the stupid and racist card! We’re fed up with people like you coming here and crawling into our sewers to bring out “real” Romania for a fistful of $$$. You should be ashamed of yourselves you vampires of dirty money!

          Lol okay. You are entitled to your (incorrect) opinion about me. Feel free to stop reading this site, please! After all, it’s all probably fake news perpetuated by sewer vampires anyway.

    Hi Amanda, let me begin by saying that the images used throughout this post are simply splendid. Thank you for giving us a mini-tour of what to expect when travelling to Romania. Very useful!

    I was thinking of Romania to visit next summer. I was not sure about it till I read your article. I really became motivated and excited to definitely visit it. thanks for the article (y)
    I have a question about the expenses. I want to stay there for around three months. Do you think I can afford living and travelling there for a budget of around 300 Euro a month?

      Romania isn’t as expensive as other parts of Europe, but I think 300 Euro per month could be tricky in some of the bigger cities.

    Love this! Romania is very high on my list of countries to visit, and you’re making it worse!Besides the mention of palinka… I had more than my share in Hungary, and it remains one of my greatest fears.

      It’s definitely worth visiting! (Though yes, you’ll have lots of palinka offered to you! Haha.)

    Hello everyone! 🙂 I am Canadian and I must say this country is gorgeous!!!. I visited Bucharest and its old centers, such as The Old Town (Centrul Vechi), Brasov, Timisoara, Sinaia, Onesti, Comanesti, Sascut and, Constanta. I would definitely recommend to all people to visit it as much as they can! There are medieval towns, architectures, statues, cafes, restaurants, ski resorts, beach resorts (Black sea), etc. They also that gigantic parlament in Bucharest called Casa Poporului and it is the 2nd largest building in the world by area. The people are very friendly, welcoming, intelligent and multilingual. They speak Romanian (A romance/Latin language, very similar the next languages except for English), Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Spanish, French and English The women are very gorgeous there!! I booked my plane ticket to go there again this summer. My top destinations will be Bucharest, Sighisoara, Poiana Brasov, Constanta, Timisoara, Bacau, Onesti and Delta Dunarii. I will also visit the country side. Enjoy your vacation there for people who will visit Romania soon!

    Thank you very much Amanda for promoting our country!
    Romania is still a peaceful and full of hospitality country!
    It’s a wonderful cheap country!
    For everyone having doubts about visiting Romania please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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